Amid simmering tension in the NIT campus in Srinagar, a team from the union Human Resource Development Ministry met the protesting students of the National Institute of Technology (NIT) here to hear their grievances.
The three-member team, headed by Director Sanjeev Sharma, has been tasked to ascertain the facts that led to clashes between a section of students and police. The team first met the NIT director and then the protesting non-local students who have been boycotting classes for the past two days.
The interactions lasted nearly three hours, a senior official said.
Around 500 non-Kashmiri students of third year and some freshers have been boycotting classes while another 1,000 non-Kashmiri students of other levels in the four-year degree course are attending classes, according to NIT.
Trouble erupted in NIT when the third year and some freshers took out a march in the morning chanting slogans. Police stopped them at the main gate, after which clashes erupted.
The students union accused the police of entering classrooms and beating up students including some disabled. After the incident, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was deployed in the NIT campus.
Kashmiri and outstation students had clashed with each other on March 31 after West Indies defeated India in the T20 cricket World Cup championship.
Meanwhile the Centre has conveyed its concern to Jammu and Kashmir Government over the police action against students at NIT Srinagar, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said. The Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office said there should not be use of force by police against the students and the Centre is in constant touch with authorities there to ensure that there is no physical harm and academic disadvantages to them. “I have conveyed concern on my behalf and on the behalf of the Centre to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti also. She has assured us that the further course of action will be taken keeping all sensitivities in mind,” Singh said.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has condemned the police action on students of NIT, saying the government “must stop this immediately”. “Lathicharge on students in Srinagar is highly condemnable. BJP-PDP must stop this immediately,” the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief said in a tweet. “In Kashmir, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is beating those saying ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’, and in the rest of the country those who don’t say it,” Kejriwal added.